End of payphone era, last NYC public payphone removed

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On Monday morning, the final New York City public pay telephone was being removed on 7th Ave. and 50th St. in Midtown Manhattan.

Recall that the city began removing payphones in 2015 and replacing them with public Wi-Fi hotspots. The removal will mark the end of the payphone era in the city except for some private payphones on public property and four permanent full-length so-called Superman booths.

The city has removed thousands of payphones across all five boroughs in the past several years. According to the city website, there were more than 6,000 active public pay telephones on city sidewalks in 2014.

The payphones were all to be removed by 2020, but the process took longer than originally planned.

LinkNYC, which runs the Wi-Fi hotspots, says the network will be expanded to add 5G functionality this summer.

In addition to free Wi-Fi, LinksNYC provides access to a social services directory, device charging, free phone calls within the U.S., and transit and weather alerts.

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